If you have been charged with a ‘contaminating goods’ offence under sections 93K, 93L or 93M of the Crimes Act, you could face further penalties if it is alleged that the offence occurred in ‘aggravating circumstances.’
Aggravating circumstances are simply factors which make an offence more serious.
There are two possible aggravated circumstances under sections 93N and 93O of the Crimes Act.
Section 93N states that you may be charged with an ‘aggravated contamination’ offence if you contaminate goods, threaten to contaminate goods or make false statements concerning contamination in connection with an unwarranted demand by a person.
An unwarranted demand is simply a demand made by a person without any reasonable grounds.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment.
Section 93O of the Crimes Act states that you may also be charged with aggravated contamination where you contaminate goods or threaten to contaminate goods with the intention of causing death or grievous bodily harm to another person, and a person dies or suffers grievous bodily harm.
Grievous bodily harm is defined as ‘really serious harm’ such as a broken bone, internal organ damage or the death of a foetus.
The maximum penalty for this offence is 25 years imprisonment.
While these maximum penalties may seem harsh, it’s important to remember that they will only apply in the most serious cases.
With the help of our experienced criminal defence lawyers you may be able to avoid a harsh penalty.
Section 93N & 93O of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Aggravated Contamination’ and reads as follows:
93N Aggravated circumstances – unwarranted demand
(1) A person is guilty of an offence against this section if the person commits an offence under section 93K, 93L or 93M in connection with an unwarranted demand by the person. An unwarranted demand is a demand that the person believes he or she does not have any reasonable grounds for making.
(2) A person convicted of an offence against this section is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.
(3) If on the trial of a person for an offence against this section the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged, but is satisfied on the evidence that the accused is guilty of an offence under section 93K, 93L or 93M, it may find the accused not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of the latter offence, and the accused is liable to punishment accordingly.
93O Aggravated circumstances – death or grievous bodily harm
(1) A person is guilty of an offence against this section if the person commits an offence against section 93K or 93L and:
(a) the contamination of the goods causes the death of any person or grievous bodily harm to any person, or
(b) the person intends by that contamination to cause such death or harm.
(2) A person convicted of an offence against this section is liable to imprisonment for 25 years.
(3) If on the trial of a person for an offence against this section the jury is not satisfied that the accused is guilty of the offence charged, but is satisfied on the evidence that the accused is guilty of an offence under section 93K or 93L, it may find the accused not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of the latter offence, and the accused is liable to punishment accordingly.
If you’ve been charged with an aggravated contamination offence, it’s important to get the best legal team on your side in order to maximise your chances of obtaining the best possible result in your matter.
At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our expert defence team consists of some of the most experienced criminal lawyers in NSW.
Our lawyers have a wealth of experience appearing in all courts and have the expert knowledge necessary to secure the best result in your matter.
We will take the time to carefully examine all the evidence in your case in order to identify problems with the prosecution case.
Where issues are identified, our expert lawyers will write persuasive letters to the prosecution asking for the charges to be dropped.
Often, this means that our clients are spared the time and expense of fighting the matter in court.
Alternatively, if the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, our senior lawyers will work alongside Sydney’s leading barristers in order to prepare a strong defence case.
We can assist you in identifying and raising any possible defences to the charges, which, if accepted, will result in a verdict of ‘not guilty.’
Our expert defence advocates can also assist you in presenting persuasive sentencing submissions should you wish to plead guilty to the charges.
We will fight hard to secure the best possible outcome in your matter by highlighting any mitigating factors and stressing the appropriateness of a lenient penalty.
So for the best result in your aggravated contamination matter, contact our expert defence lawyers on (02) 9261 8881 today and book a FREE first conference to discuss your case.